Whether you're new to off-roading or just want to be a little more prepared next time you go out, this list is sure to help you out. Today, we're going to talk about some of the things you must do before you head out to the trails!
1. Air Out
If you're relatively new to offroading, this concept may be new to you. However, it can be one of the biggest factors during your off-road adventures. Before you tackle anything too crazy, consider airing out your tires. Release some of the air from your tire by removing the valve stem cap and depressing the center. By letting air of the tire, you're allowing the weight of your vehicle to push your tire down, spreading it out. This will give you a larger amount of rubber reaching the surface beneath you which will ultimately give you more traction. There are a lot of factors that tire into how much air you should let out so be sure that you're letting out the correct amount.
2. Have the Proper Equipment
This one may seem a bit obvious but it's definitely worth mentioning. Be sure that before you head out, you have grabbed all of the things you need for your trip. Some basics would be a map, a plan for where you will be traveling, food, water, and a tow strap. The map and trail plan will help you figure out where you need to be going and how you got to where you are now. Of course, a lot of these things are to prepare you for the worst, like a rollover, but it's better to be prepared just in case. Food and water will of course be a staple to keep in your vehicle at all times. Finally, a tow strap will always come in handy in the event you have a mechanical failure or end up getting stuck.
3. Check Your Tires
This should be common practice whether you're taking your vehicle off-roading or not but make it a habit to check the condition of your tires. As we said before, make sure that the pressure is at a safe level for operation but also optimized for the most traction possible. Be sure to check for any cracking or punctures on your tires since this can have a devastating consequence in the event of a blowout. Never underestimate how important your tires are.
4. Know Your Vehicle
Before you set out on your expedition, be sure that you know your vehicle first. What do we mean by this? Well, every vehicle has it's limitations and we have to know what those limitations are. Maybe before you set out to conquer the really rough terrain, you try hitting some of the easier trails first. This will give you time to understand the weight transfer of your vehicle, the sounds that it's making, and how much ground clearance you have to work with. Knowing all of these things beforehand will prevent a breakdown or getting stuck while you're going through some of the tougher terrains.
5. Bring a Friend
Not only is this fun, but bringing a friend is also a way to make sure you have a way out if things go wrong. Bring a friend that has another vehicle, preferably one that is equally capable. They will be able to pull you out of mud holes or even just give you a ride to the parts store if something breaks. Bringing a friend doubles the fun of off-roading while making it safer for both of you so why not invite someone?
6. Consider Upgrades
Last but not least, consider some upgrades for your vehicle before you start to tackle really rough terrain. Upgrading your suspension with a bigger lift kit or a coilover setup will give you better ground clearance, better ride, more stability, and most likely more reliability. Upgrading other things such as steering components is also never a bad idea. Make sure your wheels and tires are up for the challenge as well. You never want to crack a wheel or lose traction while you're off-road because there likely won't be a super-easy way to get you back out of there. Upgrades will allow you to tackle rougher terrain way easier and give you peace of mind that the parts on your vehicle are built to handle the rough stuff.